Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are some of the most popular freshwater fishes belonging to the sunfish family. Both are the craziest fish and have a delightful taste. Not only has fame in sportfishing, but also avid anglers love to hunt Bass. Bass fishing is nowadays becoming a Multi-Billion dollar industry. It seems strange that still there is confusion among experienced and newbies to distinguish between various bass species.
For being a lover of bass fishing and after spending decades on the water, now its essential to explain Smallmouth vs Largemouth Bass. At first glance, both Smallmouth and Largemouth bass look similar, but some crucial differences make them divergent from each other. However, this problem can prove familiar to both newbies and experts.
Basically, this post is for those who are confused about distinguishing Smallmouth bass from Big mouth. Don’t worry; keep in mind that there will be an expert angler bewildered too, by the two.
Let’s break down the difference in detail to help you to avoid confusion when you will next time go on fishing.
How to tell the difference between Smallmouth bass vs Largemouth bass?
As the name implies, the larger in both species is Largemouth Bass, and it’s the first and most obvious difference between them. Normally, the Smallies grow up to 10 pounds, but the Largemouth Bass is capable to grow double. By knowing that the Largemouth grows larger than Smallmouth doesn’t help much. Basically, it depends upon your landing fish, whether small or big.
Furthermore, you can tell apart both species by observing their color. Keep in mind, that it will not always helps you to distinguish between them, but it gives just an idea of how both species are intimate. Traditionally, Smallmouth Bass is usually known as “Brown Bass,” while Largemouth Bass is named “Green Bass.” But unfortunately, in reality, the color of both generations varies in proportion to their age, diet, location, and a bunch of other factors that affect their coloration.
Fortunately, there are some primary reasons to categories them into two generations. First of all, the size of their mouth; as the name implies, Largemouth Bass have a large mouth size, and their upper jaw extends past the eye, whilst the Smallies’ upper jaw level to the line of the eye.
Secondly, they’re a separation in the dorsal fin, which is the obvious identification between the Largemouth Bass verses Smallmouth. According to our observations, there is a notch between the dorsal fin of Largies, while the dorsal fin of Smallmouth is connected.
Thirdly, last but not least, if you are still confused, look at the marking of their bodies whereas their color is not reliable to distinguish, but the pattern of marking is much more so. However, Largemouth Bass has horizontal lines, whereas Smallmouth Bass has vertical stripes on their body.
According to their strength and potential Smallmouth Bass are more energetic and good fighters than Largemouth Bass. These little guys show an enthusiastic attitude while fighting against the hook and repeatedly jump and jump to disgorge themselves of the hook. Whereas the Largemouth Bass jump once or twice but to get relief, they dive under the water with brute strength or take you into some murky cover where there are chances of getting tangled.
I’m sure about that, after the judgment of all these differences and the behavior of these two, you can easily get an idea of whether the species is on the line.
Smallmouth Bass vs Largemouth Bass: Where to find them?
Now you can tell them apart from each other, but it’s unfortunately useless if you don’t even try to catch them. So for this purpose, you need to know how to find them. Actually where they live?
Unexpectedly, Largemouth Bass prefer warmer water while Smallmouth Bass prefer colder climates. Both generations are closely related to each other, but can they live together? Obviously, But they prefer not so. If you are fishing on one side of the lake where smallmouth bass is in ample, there is a chance of the largemouth bass found on the other side of the lake. These all depend upon their habitation. Here are some tips to look where each fish belong?
Habitation of Largemouth Bass
Actually, the Largemouth bass is native to eastern to the central state, but due to the popularity in both sport fishing and tournaments as well as good eating fish, now they can find in lakes all over the country.
Largemouth Bass are somehow introverted. They like to live under more cover for hiding themselves. They need to hide between rocks and crannies, weeds beds, brush piles and grasses, and anywhere else where they think they are safely out of sight. If you want to catch giant Largemouth, it’s essential to hook them in thick grassy cover, as it’s the perfect home for them. Although it sometimes looks offensive, but it makes the task of catching easiest in some ways.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the Largies are relatively idle fish and don’t like strong currents. If you are fishing for Largemouth Bass in the river, you have to find the thick grassy cover near the current because that is the perfect hiding place, and they could be there. That’s a great day’s fishing.
Habitation of Smallmouth Bass
Unsurprisingly, Smallmouth Bass also like the cover, but it varies for some reasons. They don’t enter into the cover, infect Smallies want to hunt around the deep cover and rocks. They like to prey bait fish and often pursuit them out in open water.
Because of this, if you are hunting Smallmouth Bass particularly, then do not waste your time in searching. It’s much easier to find them in more transparent water instead of Marky and Shallow water; anglers love to do that.
Keep in mind; the Brown Bass loves to hunt in strong currents. Unlike other monsters, Smallmouth bass is a feisty and gutsy fish that always prefers hasty moving currents. So, if you’re looking for Smallies in the river, you have to ignore the breaks and make your cast along with the swift moving currents alternatively.
Spawning Seasons of Smallmouth vs Largemouth Bass
Sexual maturity in Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass occurs around one year of age and starts spawning during the spring season when the weather temperature arises(become a little bit warm). The period usually prolonged the springtime in some southern states for having warmth climate.
Meanwhile, the south is highly responsible for having a healthy population of Bass. Subsequently, when females lay their eggs, then males of the species start protecting their nests, the small hipe of muds, gravel, or sand on the bottom of the lake bed.
When to fish them?
But unfortunately, Smallmouth Bass avoid and refuse to spawn in polluted water because, by nature, they are less tolerant of water adulteration than Largies. By behavior, Smallmouth Bass are much fussier than Largemouth Bass.
April, May, and June are the best month for bass fishing. Anglers love summer fishing, which is the perfect season for landing good Bass, but in the winter, the Smallmouth Bass go off and start hibernation. At that time, do some craziest hunting of Largemouth Bass instead.
The best time for fishing bass is either Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass; it doesn’t matter. It all depends on where you’re fishing because each water body has its own peak season for a certain fish population. Meanwhile, the season does not remain the same throughout the year; it could change their temperature based on vegetation, climate, depth, and many other environmental factors that affect it. So, it’s necessary to bear in mind that there are a few rules to be adopted when you’re fishing.
While Largemouth Bass are lazy predators and loves to spend the summer season in shallow bays and creeks. They tend to find some good spots and cover for hunting small bait fishes effectively. Summer is the best season to get them; on those days, you will observe that they are milling anywhere with a heavy amount of cover.
Many top Largemouth anglers differ in their statements, arguing on conditions such as cloud cover, drizzling and windy circumstances. But keep in mind by behavior the slightest little bit of wind, and they’ll have ten to one hide under the cover and remain there until the water clam down again. Obviously, that makes it difficult to hook, or if you hooked already then, it’s harder to land that fish.
Unlike the Largemouth Bass once again, Smallmouth Bass breaks the rules of their cousin set. They stick with the shallow water during the spawning season. But, when summer kicks, they lean to head for the deep water; at that time, it is slightly hard to find them. They love to hunt in open water and are rarely found in groups.
Smallies tend to come back again in the shallow when the temperature falls slightly, making them easier to track. According to anglers, a bright day and calm water is the best time to hunt Smallmouth Bass. Keep in mind that light breeze is fine despite strong winds making bass fishing difficult.
After discussing the similarities and differences between the Largemouth Bass vs Smallmouth Bass, now it’s time to talk about the suitable gear for both generations. As we know that the Largies love to stick with heavy cover, rocks, and weed, it’s pretty obvious to use more durable and robust gear to land the fish.
By nature, they are predators and are highly intelligent. By luck, if you prey on one of them, that will make a challenging condition, and prey will intentionally drag you to the obstacles underwater to get themselves free from the hook. Therefore it is essential to use strong lines such as fluorocarbon and mono carbon lines.
In my opinion, instead of using a spinning rod & reel, it’s better to utilize a baitcasting rod & reel because the parts of Baitcaster are stronger and more durable than a spinning reel, particularly when you’re up against the obstacles underwater.
A small word in their name doesn’t mean that it’s actually small in size and strength but Believe me, their energetic behavior will give you a tough time while fighting. So, it’s much better to utilize a baitcasting rod for them as well.
How to bait the both generations Large mouth Bass vs. Small mouth Bass?
If we talk about baits and lures, every angler has their own techniques and tactics. It’s a little bit difficult and confusing to agree on which works better. In fact, it’s a question of personal taste. Try out different things on every trip and observe which works effectively.
After that, you’ll eventually find the setup that works for you. Anglers have spent their lives on the water and describe different tactics to catch Bass. In the market, there are many iconic strategies for different Bass species. However, some must-try iconic schemes are always used for hunting both generations (Largemouth vs. Smallmouth Bass).
It’s an essential component to know about the feeding of Bass to get success in landing a good fish. At the start, both species fed on algae before progression onto the carnivorous diet, such as small fishes and insects. They like to prey on shrimp, salamanders, and shad. Largies will also prey on other large fishes due to their superior size and strength.
Largemouth bass fishing baits and tips
If you are fishing for Largemouth Bass, the effective way to hook is by flipping and pitching on the grassy cover where they hide. In my opinion, use more visible and nice lures but not those that are likely to be snagged. Large plastic or jigs work more accurately in that conditions.
Smallmouth Bass fishing baits and tips
Smallmouth bass will go pretty much for any lures and baits that you send on their way. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, small worms, and vibrating jerk baits are good for getting in there, but unfortunately, if you likely get tangled, be patient. Furthermore, Smallies won’t go for is a heavy line because Smallies can see much better than Largemouth Bass, mainly when you’re fishing in the daytime.
Which is better, either Largemouth Bass or Smallmouth Bass?
That true! Both Bass species have their own specialties and qualities. For eating purposes and for the selling point of view both generations do their best. Largemouth Bass grow more extensive and create fun to search them in cover, weed, and rocks. On the other side, the smallmouth bass is more energetic and puts forward an excellent fight to challenge your angling skill.
It’s all about your choice and love for catching fish. Avid anglers mostly argue over those fishes, that they can get more pleasure to catch them. Black Bass are the most loveable and valuable freshwater fish near anglers. So what are you waiting for? I’m sure that our quick guide will help you a lot. Go and catch someone crazy!